While Massachusetts is never going to be confused for a pro-gun state, they did declare gun stores as “essential” businesses during the COVID-19 emergency. Then again, they weren’t the only anti-gun state to do so. Still others reversed course after initially declaring them non-essential.
It seems that Massachusetts wants to chart a different path entirely, though.
You see, while they initially declared them essential businesses–the right course of action at a time like this, to be sure–they’ve now changed their minds. They’re now ordering all gun stores to be shut down.
The reversal effectively shuts down gun sales in Massachusetts as the governor attempts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. [Governor Charlie] Baker’s declaration came days after the federal government declared the gun industry “essential.” Other jurisdictions have backed away from mandatory closures following the federal revision. Second Amendment activists are now exploring legal action to challenge the policy.
“Massachusetts is one of the states on our list to file suit against,” Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, which has joined with other leading gun-rights organizations to sue jurisdictions across the country over shutdowns, told theWashington Free Beacon. “Our attorneys are working on it.”
Baker’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision. The latest update to his coronavirus “essential services” list allows “workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, importers, and distributors” to continue working but not those at gun stores or ranges.
Honestly, this is kind of a bizarre reversal.
I can get why people like Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf reversed course. There was sufficient backlash against his initial decision that he had no choice. Yet that doesn’t seem to work in reverse. After all, Illinois hasn’t changed their decision and considering the way Chicago both dominates state politics and likes to blame guns for pretty much all their ills, you’d think there would be enough pushback there to force the issue.
But there’s not.
As a result, Baker’s decision doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. Especially since he’s still permitting businesses that manufacture guns and ammo to remain open. These tend to have more people in them than gun stores, by and large, and if you think guns are evil, you’d likely want to stop them from being made in the first place.
Honestly, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in the grand scheme of things, but it also doesn’t really have to.
If there’s a state where there’s not likely to be any backlash, Massachusetts is going to be that state. Baker will probably get away with this unless the Second Amendment Foundation lawsuit does what it’s intended to do and get the courts to force the issue. I’m not sure just how likely that would be, of course, but the fight is still needed. You lose 100 percent of the battles you don’t fight and all that.
Going forward, we’ll have to see if any other states follow Baker’s lead on this. Let’s hope there aren’t any.